June 7, 2023

A Powerful Pride Message: This is what an Ally Looks Like.


Cheerful Pride Month!

Each June, we celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community and, if we’re doing it mindfully, also use this time to bring more awareness, empathy, action, and understanding to the issues that this community faces.

Because Pride isn’t just about companies spending 30 days bombarding us with rainbow-laced advertisements.

In fact, the first Pride was a riot.

According to an article on The History Channel:

“As was common practice in many cities, the New York Police Department would occasionally raid bars and restaurants where gays and lesbians were known to gather. This occurred on June 28, 1969, when the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

When the police aggressively dragged patrons and employees out of the bar, several people fought back against the NYPD, and a growing crowd of angry locals gathered in the streets. The confrontations quickly escalated and sparked six days of protests and violent clashes with the NYPD outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street and throughout the neighborhood.

By the time the Stonewall Riots ended on July 2, 1969, the gay rights movement went from being a fringe issue largely ignored by politicians and the media to front-page news worldwide.”

The following year, on the anniversary of the riots, activists marched in New York City to commemorate the historical moment. That annual march eventually became known as the Gay Pride Parade, and in June 2000, President Clinton officially declared June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, which President Obama renamed in 2009 to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in order to be more inclusive.

While I’m not a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, I love many who are and I consider myself—and do my best to be worthy of the title of—an ally.

This is why I was so profoundly moved by an Instagram story I saw the other day from “Abbott Elementary” star Tyler James Williams.

The actor posted two stories in honor of Pride Month that both addressed ongoing claims about his own sexuality (which he shouldn’t have to do because ohmygod it’s 2023!) but also perfectly showcases what being a true ally looks like.

Check out the screenshots below:

“Being straight doesn’t look one way. Being gay doesn’t look one way.”

But this is what an ally looks like.

A day after Williams’ post, one of his younger brothers (both of whom have come out), Tyrel Jackson Williams, posted a series of tweets celebrating his brother and the work he has done on the road to becoming an ally.

I encourage you to read the entire thread (and try not to cry). Honestly, this should be required reading for anyone who considers themselves an ally:


pride message

pride message

Let’s give them both their flowers.

I wish you all a Happy Pride. A Safe Pride. A Pride filled with more education and resources and mindful action. And a Pride that helps us move forward in getting the LGBTQIA+ community the rights and freedoms that they deserve.


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